Toray Obtains ISCC Certification for European Carbon-Fiber Plants
Toray Industries’ French subsidiary, Toray Carbon Fibers Europe S.A., has obtained ISCC Plus certification for its Lacq and Abidos production plants in southwest France. This certification allows Toray Carbon Fibers Europe to allocate and use biomass or recycled materials through the mass balance approach to produce and supply carbon fiber. Thus, Toray Carbon Fibers Europe now has the ability to reduce the life cycle inventory (LCI) of its carbon fiber, prepreg, and other offerings and help its customers to enhance product life cycle assessments (LCAs) while contributing to building a circular economy.
The International Sustainability & Carbon Certification’s (ISCC) voluntary certification program guarantees that the raw materials used are sourced from biomass or recycled materials. It also ensures full traceability at all stages of a product’s manufacturing process. The mass balance approach tracks the amount and sustainability characteristics of circular and bio-based materials used in the value chain based on verifiable records. This scheme is open to several sectors such as the food, feed, chemicals, plastics, packaging, and textile industries.
Toray Carbon Fibers Europe will start manufacturing carbon fiber derived from biomass and recycled raw materials by the end of 2023. In addition, Toray’s Ehime Plant in Japan aims to obtain ISCC Plus certification by March 2024 and begin producing fiber by the close of that year. In the United States, the carbon-fiber facility of Toray Composite Materials America Inc. in Decatur, AL, also plans to obtain this certification in 2024. With these three locations, the Toray Group intends to manufacture carbon fiber using biomass or recycled raw materials at plants in Japan, the United States, and Europe, ensuring a stable supply to customers around the globe.
Toray has already received requests from customers similarly committed to carbon neutrality. From the end of 2023, Toray will offer this carbon fiber for industrial applications such as automobiles and handheld devices, where demand for materials to create sustainable products is particularly high. At a later date, other applications, such as aviation and sports, will also be targeted.
Toray aims to build a new materials ecosystem that harnesses natural raw materials and returns them to nature in an eco-friendly state. For carbon fiber, the ecosystem will be built using biomass and recycled raw materials to manufacture carbon fiber. This fiber will be made into a composite material and, finally, an end product. At the end of the product’s life cycle, continuous carbon fiber will be repurposed for use as discontinuous fiber in other products. The last stage of the carbon fiber’s life cycle will be its recycling for water treatment or soil improvement.